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At a news conference yesterday in Japan, Honda chief executive officer Takanobu Ito outlined the company's future plans to roll out advanced technology vehicles. Among the highlights: Ito revealed Honda will introduce both a mid-size plug-in hybrid and an electric commuter vehicle in the U.S. and Japan by the end of 2012. As part of the company's global push to develop more-efficient vehicles, Honda will also introduce a small diesel-powered car in Europe around the same time that its battery-powered vehicles hit our shores.

Honda will also begin testing "next-generation electric personal mobility products, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts" in the Kumamoto and Saitama regions in Japan before the end of 2010. The purpose of the tests is to verify "the effectiveness of next-generation personal mobility products with electromotive technologies," i.e., plug-in vehicles and how to best use renewable energy (solar) with these vehicles. Honda will test all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S. once the Japan tests are underway. U.S.-based participants include Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, CA. Torrance will get a plug-in hybrid electric test vehicle by the end of this year. Honda said its first hybrid to get a lithium-ion battery will be the next-generation Civic Hybrid, coming in 2011. More details are available in the press releases after the jump.

[Source: Honda, Reuters]


Summary of Honda Announcements Regarding New Advanced Environmental Technologies

Honda will introduce new advanced environmental technology vehicles, including a battery-electric vehicle and a new plug-in hybrid vehicle, to the U.S. market in 2012, the company announced today in the mid-year address by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., President & CEO Takanobu Ito, in Tokyo, Japan. Ito also announced application of a lithium-ion battery in the next-generation Civic Hybrid in 2011.

The announcement outlined Honda's commitment to developing advanced environmental technologies for application across all of Honda's global operations. Highlights specifically related to the U.S. market include:
  • By the end of 2010 and continuing through 2011, Honda will roll out a battery-electric vehicle demonstration program in the U.S. with participants, including: Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, Calif.
  • The City of Torrance will receive a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for evaluation by the end of 2010.
  • A battery-electric commuter vehicle will be introduced in the U.S. market in 2012.
  • A new plug-in hybrid system for mid-size to larger vehicles will be introduced in the U.S. market in 2012.
  • Honda's first hybrid application of a lithium-ion battery will debut in the next- generation Civic Hybrid to be introduced in 2011. The lithium-ion battery was developed through the Honda and GS Yuasa joint-venture company, Blue Energy Co., Ltd.

Honda to Begin Demonstration Tests of Next-Generation Personal Mobility before the End of the Year in Kumamoto and Saitama

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to begin real-world demonstration testing before the end of this year of next-generation electric personal mobility products, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts. The demonstration program will be conducted jointly with Kumamoto and Saitama regions in Japan.

In a comprehensive approach unique to Honda to be conducted in collaboration with the two municipalities, Honda's electromotive technologies for motorcycles, automobiles and power products, together with information and communication technologies, a solar-powered energy station and other technologies will be utilised under the real-world urban transportation environment to address the following two agendas:
  • Verification of the effectiveness of next-generation personal mobility products with electromotive technologies, specifically electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts, along with utilisation of sustainable energy such as solar power for the realisation of a low-carbon society in the future.
  • Study of how future personal mobility and the urban transportation system should be designed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life (QOL*) of local residents.

By partnering with Kumamoto and Saitama regions, where Honda operations including manufacturing plants are located and collaborative relationships already exist in various areas, Honda will strive to effectively conduct verification testing and make further contributions to both communities.

Honda is planning to conduct this demonstration first in Japan and then in regions outside Japan such as the U.S., mostly in the area of automobiles. In the U.S., starting by the end of this year, Honda will begin demonstration testing of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles with participants including Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, California under the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program.

*QOL (Quality of Life): A concept to measure to what extent people are living their lives in a humane manner and feeling not only physical but spiritual richness and happiness.

Concept of the next-generation personal mobility experiment

Outline of the experiment: Kumamoto region

Honda will verify the effectiveness of its electromotive technologies and information and communication technologies to realise a low-carbon mobility society and to improve the QOL of local residents in the face of an aging society. Prior to the start of the experiment, Honda and Kumamoto region will sign a framework agreement on the experiment of the next-generation personal mobility.
  • Using experimental models of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as the EV-neo electric scooter, Honda will verify the effectiveness of such personal mobility to realise low-carbon mobility within the region.
  • By monitoring the positional and operational information of participating Monpal ML200 electric carts, Honda will verify how such personal mobility will contribute to the QOL, especially the quality of the daily life and health of local residents in the face of an aging society.
  • By establishing and utilising recharging stations that use thin-film solar cells manufactured by Honda Soltec, Honda will verify the effectiveness of the system which reduces CO2 from the energy-supply phase.
Utilising the function of InterNavi Premium Club, Honda's original interactive information network service for automobiles, Honda will provide information related to the recharging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as information to support eco-driving.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The FCX Clarity sure looks nice in white. Hope they start offering other colors soon as that burgundy color was never the prettiest color in the world.

      Hope Honda does better with their next generation of hybrids then they are currently with the civic and insight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        true but if a suv hits ur CRX ur dead automatic. In the CR-Z you'll walk away.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda announces today their fearless leader Takanobu Ito will be the death of the company.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its the oil industry thats doing the death walk.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ito -> If I'm Soichiro, I'd fire you!!! In fact, I hope you get fired.

      -> Really? What is the point of Honda's doing now!? I'm so infuriated on their bussiness plan, as if their dildo went inwards. Honda (automobile) right now has no spirit anymore, Ito's CR-Z wasn't able to beat Soichiro's epic CR-X in BOTH performance and fuel mileage!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hang in there dude, your only a few years away from apologizing to your customers and bowing like Ol Toyoda San.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, in america our ceos go to washington in private jets when they demand money from the government. none of that sissy accountability or shame b.s.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ive owned Hondas for almost 25 years and see no problem with the direction of the
      company. Back in the 80s former President Kawamoto told to Soichiro Honda
      about the changes to come, change that he will not like, but necesary in order to
      survive. Kawamoto outlined the company filosophy for the years to come , and Ito
      a Kawamoto pupil is just following his steps.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I almost fell asleep reading this. How boring.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given the complete lack of attractive styling from Honda in recent years, I'd say that they may have put their focus in the wrong area. Build something people want to be seen in. Then, when satisfied that you can do that, work on the internals.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the EV-N concept behind Takanobu Ito. Bring that!
      • 5 Years Ago
      apparently the best you folks can do is bash honda

      go buy your identical audis and keep giving us cancer with your "efficient" diesels
      • 5 Years Ago
      Title should be "Honda the last automaker to announce plans to sell plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle by 2012
        • 5 Years Ago
        @blogged to death

        "Ever driven an Accord with the 2.2 liter i-DTEC engine that Honda sells over in Europe? It's a bracket buster and class leader in performance, mpg and emissions."

        Like that engine, you're behind the times.

        Accord 2.2 i-DTEC ES
        150 hp, 258 lb-ft
        9.6/10.0 seconds 0-62 mph, manual/auto
        50.4/44.1 mpg, manual/auto

        VW Passat Highline 2.0 TDI
        170 hp, 258 lb-ft
        8.6/8.6 seconds 0-62 mph, manual/auto
        50.4/46.1 mpg, manual/auto

        Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi
        163 hp, 251 lb-ft
        8.9/9.5 seconds 0-60 mph, manual/auto
        53.2/50.4 mpg, manual/auto

        Things get really rough for the Accord when you compare to the premium brands it seeks to compete with

        Audi A4 TDI
        170 hp, 258 lb-ft
        8.3 seconds 0-62 mph, manual
        55.4 mpg, manual

        Volvo S60 D3 (2.0 liter 5-cyl)
        163 hp, 295 lb-ft
        9.2/9.2 seconds 0-62 mph, manual/auto
        53.3/47.9 mpg, manual/auto

        Volvo S60 D5 (2.4 liter 5-cyl)
        205 hp, 309 lb-ft
        7.8/7.8 seconds 0-62 mph, manual/auto
        53.3/44.8 mpg, manual/auto

        BMW 320d SE
        184 hp, 280 lb-ft
        7.5/7.6 seconds 0-62 mph, manual/auto
        60.1/53.3 mpg, manual/auto
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol, seriously.

        Well, at least they have their heads outta their asses.
        They don't know how to make engines anymore, so here's hoping that they can make good electric drive systems.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know anything about the European market engines, but I still think the 1.8L in the Civic is arguably the best small engine in the mainstream market -- and it's been out since '06. I'm really curious to hear why people don't like it.
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